A New Dawn
God called me into the ministry when I was in my twenties. At the age of 26, I began as an itinerant evangelist with the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. Even during the years of graduate school and teaching, my heart was always in evangelism. Numerous other opportunities came my way, but nothing could shake the call of evangelism. After speaking at the International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists led by Billy Graham in 1983, I clearly sensed the need for evangelism undergirded by apologetics. People had and have legitimate questions about God and faith. It is our responsibility and privilege to answer them. So in 1984, RZIM was born. It was always my desire to build a team that could make an impact upon our times. God has answered that longing, and today, this ministry has over 90 full-time speakers in 15 countries. Running on different tracks and using different means, we are proclaimers of the gospel message.
RZIM’s mission, vision and intention to serve God will not change, and we have made a change in leadership that will equip us to remain strong and secure in the coming years. We are privileged to transition the leadership of RZIM to Sarah Davis as CEO and Michael Ramsden as President.
Over 25 years ago, my path crossed with that of Michael Ramsden, who at that time was studying international monetary law at the University of Sheffield. He was headed for a brilliant career in that field. God changed his path, and he joined our team instead. He was one of the earliest members of the team and has been with me as an evangelist-apologist with RZIM these 25 years. For years, it has been on my heart for him to take this leadership role. That day has come. It is fitting, as nobody has done more to build this team than Michael.
Sarah came to us from working in development at Pepperdine University and has been with us for more than 16 years, most recently as our Global Director and CEO of Zacharias Trust. Sarah and Michael have actively worked together to further the global mission of RZIM and look forward to continuing their work in this new season for the ministry.
It is with deep gratitude to God, joined by the best board anyone can imagine and affirmed by the rest of our senior leadership, that these two appointments have been made. I will continue my role as Chairman of the Board, removing myself from the day-to-day operations. At age 73 it is time for me to focus on the three things I love most: speaking, writing, and spending time with my family. I am in good health, and with a joyful heart, I will continue to honor my calling and serve my Lord as a speaker and writer. In recent times, I have sensed his anointing more than ever. I am busier than ever on every continent. My whole family joins me in supporting this transition.
I am not going anywhere to do anything else. RZIM was birthed in my soul, and these are soulmates who are accepting the responsibility of providing the leadership of carrying on this vision. I will continue my itinerant call. It’s in my blood.
Please pray for Sarah and Michael. These two wonderful people, supported by the nearly 300 RZIM staff worldwide, need your prayers. I pray our best years are ahead. We need you as always. We will blaze new trails, ever grateful for the way our Lord has shaped us. This is a new dawn for us with 35 years of memorable sunsets—and many more to come. I read on a church marquee recently, “When you run alone, you run a race. When you run with God, you run by grace.” We will continue to run with Him and for Him. Thank you for running with us.
One of my favorite hymns is by Charles Wesley. He says my prayer best:
O Thou who camest from above,
the pure celestial fire to impart
kindle a flame of sacred love
upon the mean altar of my heart.
There let it for thy glory burn
with inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return,
in humble prayer and fervent praise.
Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
to work and speak and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire,
and still stir up thy gift in me.
Ready for all thy perfect will,
my acts of faith and love repeat,
till death thy endless mercies seal,
and make my sacrifice complete.